ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - A St. Louis County police officer was hospitalized Monday after he was struck while helping another driver on Interstate 55.
The officer suffered substantial bruises and abrasions but no broken bones as initially feared, police said.
The collision happened at the Butler Hill overpass on southbound I-55.
Police and MODOT warn drivers all the time about overpasses freezing over. Investigators believe that’s what happened in this case.
According to a police spokesperson, a woman in a silver SUV slid into a guardrail shortly after 8:30 a.m. A county officer pulled over to help her. He was partially inside her vehicle when another driver in a pickup truck slid into the SUV, throwing the officer down the embankment.
It was the most serious of 22 crashes St. Louis County police handled Monday morning.
“We’re very fortunate we’re not talking about the death or serious physical injury of one of our officers,” said St. Louis County Police Officer Ben Granda. “Motorists have an obligation to yield to emergency vehicles when there are multiple lanes available. This is when you’re on a highway and you see a policeman or a utility worker or a MoDOT worker, assisting someone on the shoulder, you have to move over. Give them room to safely do their job.”
The driver of the pickup was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, Granda said. The injured officer has three years on the force. No one else was hurt.